|Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Signature Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Ben Shyman|
|Tuesday, 01 March 2005|
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Subwoofers are perhaps the hardest speaker in an AV system for consumers to evaluate. This is due in part to the fact that the best performing subwoofer isn’t necessarily the one that creates the lowest bass response or that rattles the rafters with the greatest fury, but rather the one that best blends with your entire system. When a subwoofer is perfectly matched to your system, you are in theory unable to locate its position and rock-bottom bass would seem to be emanating from your main front loudspeakers. The in-room bass response or, more accurately, your personal room response is what you are really looking for. Herein lies the problem. Unless you are an acoustics guru with sophisticated sound-measuring equipment, you have little chance of getting your new sub to sound great in your room.
Bob Carver, a man perhaps best known for making small subwoofers popular, offers his newest solution to the problem of correctly setting up a woofer. The latest Sunfire woofer is a sub that employs room equalization, capable of EQing your low-end performance to properly integrate with your room without the need for a professional.
The Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Signature is a small cube subwoofer that boasts an awe-inspiring 2,700 watts of amplification, has an intelligent automatic internal EQ and can reportedly play at greater than 116 dB peaks. Considering its features, the Sunfire True Sub Signature is competitively priced at $2,195.
The Sunfire True Signature EQ Subwoofer is an attractive speaker. Its high gloss deep bing cherry finish affords it an expensive look and feel. While measuring only 13 inches cubed and packed with dual 12-inch drivers, the True Subwoofer EQ Signature is considerably hefty at 48 pounds. The True Signature EQ is powered by a 2,700-watt internal amplifier which utilizes Carver’s patented Tracking Downconverter Technology included in Sunfire’s electronics. These amplifiers are designed to provide instantaneous power in abundance to control your heaviest demands. Critics and high-end snobs say Carver’s amps aren’t as quiet in terms of overall noise as you might expect from a big-dollar Krell or Linn amp and they are on some levels right. However, when powering a subwoofer, these issues are really irrelevant. Carver’s amps rock and deliver lots of juice when you need it, which for both his subs and his home theater amps is just the ticket.
One needs to look no further than the rear control panel to realize the True Signature EQ is a seriously engineered product. With an assortment of knobs including Volume, Crossover Frequency and Phase Control, and three sets of inputs, including a Balanced XLR input and a LED display for the equalizer, one might think this sub is difficult to set up. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I placed the EQ Signature in the same spot where my Sunfire Signature Mark IV used to sit and used the existing cable from my Proceed AVP2 to connect it to the RCA line level inputs.
I looked forward to using Sunfire’s Automatic EQ Mode for customizing the sound of the Signature EQ in my room for several reasons, most notably that, although I am an AV professional, it is very difficult (some suggest impossible) to accurately equalize a subwoofer manually by ear. It’s likely that most of you fall into the same boat, thus making the use the Automatic EQ mode essential. A small microphone with a very long wire is included with the True Signature EQ sub to facilitate the automatic equalization process. I placed the microphone in my primary listening position, plugged it into Sunfire, dialed in the Volume, Crossover, Phase and Equalizer Authority knobs to positions indicated in the short but effective User’s Manual and pushed the “start” button. After less than one minute listening to the subwoofer run various low-frequency test tones, the equalization process was complete. The Sunfire True Signature EQ was no doubt the easiest product to set up in my entire theater, including my new Revel loudspeakers, which require considerable fidgeting to get their placement just right. In about 20 minutes, I had the Sunfire unpacked, the instruction manual read, the cables connected and the equalization process complete. I was ready to begin my listening.